Before the Moonlight by Christine Swiderski

Before the Moonlight

Interesting what our expectations are when we are born. The first year through high school the main goals are self-centered, feed me, love me, and pay attention to me. Reality strikes all of us sooner or later. We all pray it doesn’t happen to the innocent at the hands of evil. Unfortunately, that is the way of this world, good and evil plays a role in all lives.

Many of my friends, if they made it to adolescents, had to be home by a certain time or they would meet some construed consequence. My curfew was to be home before the moonlight. One night I decided to push the curfew.My question is what could possibly happen in the moonlight that was evil? All the songs and movies spoke of passion and love is experienced in the moonlight.

I and 2 girlfriends decided to press the envelope and stay out past our curfew. We each had boyfriends who were more than willing to join in on our rebellion.

We agreed to meet in the park at the pavilion. Tables line the cemented floor, covered by an arched roof. The guys got there first and they started the party before us. We giggled and hoped they didn’t drink all the good stuff.

Marsha, Melisa and I each took our swig of the Ripple wine first, then we grabbed ourselves a beer.  John brought a radio and had it turned to our favorite radio station. John grabbed my hand and we started to dance in the Moonlight, Steve danced with Marsha and Frank with Melisa. I knew there was nothing to fear from the moonlight. This was wonderful as the music played we danced and drank.

One hour into our romantic rebellion, Melisa was the first to say: “Did you hear that?” We all laughed and said no. She shrugged it off and considered it a matter of a guilty conscience. What was odd about the evening is no one feared the repercussions. Next, Marsha and I said simultaneously “Did you hear that?”

Everyone stopped to listen. The music was still playing; the tune was ‘Another one bites the dust’. Every time I hear that song it makes me rock as though I am ready to jump.

The pavilion was in the center of the park. You could see light at a distance. The only light that night was the moon. Someone had either broken or shot out the two street lights along the sidewalk leading to the pavilion. Until this moment it did not bother me.

Soon we could see there was someone coming toward us. Just a talk shadow making its way towards us, finally he emerged out of the shadows allowing the moon to cast filtered light upon his face. John spoke up and said: “Greg it sure took you long enough to get here.”

I right away knew something was off. John, Steve, and Frank have been friends since elementary school, Melisa, Marsha and I only met them a month ago at the beginning of our senior year. Greg smiled and said: “I decided to bring something extra to document this perfect evening.”

I bolted for the car hoping Marsha and Melisa had the same miss-givings. They did not. I feel overwhelmed with guilt for not staying and fighting for and with them. Neither survived the rape. Don’t get me wrong the guys did not kill them physically they did it to their souls.

Not all romance ends up at the altar. Some romance is perpetrated in the moonlight to hide its evil.

To this day the moonlight holds no special love nor warm fuzzy feelings it is a cold reminder of that night I lost my 2 best friends. Rebellion has a cost and a net gain, unfortunately, the gain is only incurred through loss reminding us wisdom also comes at a cost.